G. C. Williams Home
William Beverly Settlement
Location: North side of Route 23, at Parsons
Springs, 1 « mile south of Wise.
Date: Built about 1850.
Owners: William L. Beverly bought the land
at the sale of the State Mortgaged Land November 21, 1853.
At the resale of this land William L. Beverly
again became the purchaser October 23, 1878. Beverly sold to Stephen J.
Parsons, February 12, 1887. Parsons then resided there until January 11,
1909 when the place
was sold by T. G. Wells, Commissioner to
Roland B. Roberson. Roberson sold to Wade B. Hamilton. Hamilton did not
live at this place at all. Hamilton sold to Orpha Bradley, March 13, 1915.
Bradley sold to
J. E. Lipps February 22, 1916. Lipps sold
to G. C. William, March 14, 1924. William still owns the place.
The Beverly Settlement
is better known as the Parsons Place or the Parson's Springs. The Parsons'
Springs originated from the fact that two springs bubble out under the
mountain near the east of the old home site.
Description: The first house here was a two
story, four room, hewn log of yellow poplar. It was built in the oblong
fashion, two rooms on each floor. It faced slightly south east and had
a two story, full length
porch across the front. Small, one story
porch at the rear. One 12 pane window in each room, facing the front. Two
entrance doors, one on each floor at the front, batten type. Stairway leading
up from the east side of the porch to the porch above. It was more of the
ladder fashion and was boxed on the sides with
yellow poplar planks. Stone chimney on the
west end, mud dobbed. Fireplace only on the first floor. Flooring of yellow
poplar wood, hand dressed about six inches in width. Ceiling of the same
material. The second story flooring formed the ceiling of the first floor
rooms overhead, leaving the joists exposed. Plain
handmade mantel of yellow poplar wood. The
walls were formed by the inside part of the hewn poplar logs.
On the back lawn
of this place is a mammoth Raleigh Apple tree with a body about four feet
or more in circumference and until recently on the front lawn stood three
very old cedar trees.
East of this house and
near the Parsons' Springs Stephen J. Parsons had a small log building that
he used as a blacksmith's shop.This, as well as the old home, has been
torn away. The old home was torn down about or between 1905 and 1907 and
the logs were hauled away to build a barn.
Later about 1915,
James Bradley built a frame house here and it burned within that same year.
The present house
was built by J. E. Lipps of Wise after he
bought the place in 1916.
Historical Significance: William L. Beverly
was a son of Robert, Sr. and Elizabeth Dotson Beverly. He married Lester,
a daughter of John and Sarah Parsons Davis. John Davis lived at Esserville
so it was logical in that early day that he would settle near his or her
home. After Beverly sold this place to Parsons
he moved to the Hurricane section near Wise
and in later life to Gate City, Scott Co., where he died. He qualified
as Sheriff for Andrew J. Dotson, SWC at the June term of Court 1857. He
was a member of the
Big Glades Primitive Baptist Church and joined
there in April 1848. To his marriage was born five children, three sons
and two daughters. William Sherman, son of the above is the present Mayor
of the town of Big Stone Gap.
Stephen J. Parsons
came from Washington Co., VA and settled in Wise County several years before
he bought this place from Beverly.
His first family
(by first wife) all died at this place. Parsons himself also died there.
One daughter was burned to death and after catching fire she ran from the
house and sat down in the creek below the house and died there. Stephen
Parsons was a Methodist preacher, blacksmith, farmer and Horse Fistula
It has often been
rumored that this place is haunted and many and sundry ghost tales have
been told about it from time to time.
Source of Information: J. T. Hamilton, J.
E. Lipps and Court Records.